Via Prometheus (who misrepresents it) I found Climate Science on Trial: How a single scientific graph became the focus of the debate over global warming. Its well worth reading. Towards the end we have this wonderful bit, demonstrating the sheer ignorance of many of the septics:
Representative Barton and others repeatedly claimed that Mr. Mann’s curve was in An Inconvenient Truth, the movie and book about Al Gore’s slide show on global warming. While there is a graph shaped like a hockey stick in the book and the movie, the data do not come from Mr. Mann but from a different study, of glaciers.
At another point in the hearings, Mr. Whitfield said the hockey-stick curve was so influential that it was a cornerstone of the Kyoto Protocol, the international agreement to limit carbon emissions. “The Kyoto arguments were primarily based upon this new chart,” he said, before another committee member pointed out that the graph had been published after the protocol was adopted.
A point that comes up (and RP asserts) is that the IPCC “boiled down” the science too much for the SPM: Does it make sense to “boil down” science in a manner that inevitably leads to a mischaracterization of that science?. No it doesn’t. But who says who is doing this? You can read the SPM fig 1 caption. I don’t think its misrepresented. This is in danger of becoming an urban myth like the 1970’s ice age stuff. I don’t see any alternative to summarising things – just about everyone does: papers have abstracts that are effectively summaries.